Editorial: The Cycling Classic excites, and Gorge Ride awaits

June 4, 2011

"I never thought I could have come this far

Through miles of mountains valley, streams

This is the right stuff filling my dreams

So come on, get up on your bike

Ah, go on, get up on your bike

Pedal on, pedal on, pedal on for miles."

- Luka Bloom, "Acoustic Motorbike"

There are "roll" models all around this weekend.

Between the spray of sailing regattas in Cascade Locks and the whir of bicycle athletes on mid-Columbia Gorge roads this weekend, there are numerous visitors among us who bring adventure sport good tidings to us all.

The athletes in the ninth annual Mt. Hood Cycling Classic, here all weekend, are a combination of professionals and amateurs (albeit highly skilled ones) and they arrive from all over the U.S. and other countries.

Many stay in local motels but others sojourn here as guests of local families. The enduring friendships that emerge from this annual bit of hospitality is one of the more pleasant outgrowths of the Hood River sporting culture.

We welcome them all to Hood River, and wish them safe and speedy outings Saturday and Sunday.

The most visible of the Classic events is probably the downtown Criterium, which fills Hood River streets Saturday, starting at 4 p.m. The pro riders start at 6:45 p.m. Find a street corner and watch them go. Perhaps the best vantage point is west of Full Sail Brewing, on the steep curve of Wasco Street, and the sharp turn onto Industrial.

The racers to watch, as Ben McCarty explains on page B1, are American Kristen Armstrong and Canadian Clara Hughes, both Olympians.

This is high-level competition. Kudos to Chad Sperry and Breakaway Productions for developing a class event.

Meanwhile, if you want to try your handlebars at a more leisurely bicycle event, check out the fifth-annual Gorge Ride on June 11, hosted by the Friends of the Historic Columbia River Highway.

The event is a chance to explore the beautiful Columbia River Gorge by bicycle and to help the Friends' project of restoring and reconnecting the Historic Columbia River Highway and State Trail through the Columbia River Gorge from The Dalles to Troutdale by its 100th birthday on June 7, 2016.

The route starts at the Columbia Gorge Discovery Center in The Dalles, goes to the Mark O. Hatfield west trailhead just east of Hood River, then back; for a total of 38 miles.

The route follows portions the historic highway that are open to motor vehicles and a paved state trail that is open only to hikers and cyclists. If you've never explored this unique feature of the Gorge backyard, this is your opportunity.

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See www.co.hood-river.or.us to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

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